Earth Day 2020: For a Better Planet
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Every year since 1970, April 22 is a date when humans around the world come together in an effort to protect our planet by creating awareness of the activities we do that are impacting climate change, attempting to create consciousness and inspire collective action. The collaboration efforts so far have reached one billion annually, and we want to do our part in continuing to grow that number, hopefully reaching seven billion strong.
Up until recently, our planet had been on an upwards trend of experiencing changes that with every passing year bring us closer to unraveling severe issues, potentially affecting all of us. These include the decline of ice sheets, glaciers retreating, oceans acidity, surface temperatures setting new heat records, more extreme weather like droughts, heat waves, and hurricanes, and global sea levels rising at an alarmingly fast rate - among others.
At the moment (thanks to the global lockdown we're facing collectively), there has been a substantial decrease in production and burning of fossil fuels that are harmful for the environment, the air is cleaner, and the atmosphere is getting a break from our constant travel. This balance birthed from the way we're all adapting to this temporary circumstance is helping our planet tremendously, but as we just said - it's temporary. Once this passes, there's a lot of work we'll have to do to ensure we don't just fall back into old habits and just remember the earth one day a year.
What do you have to do with this? The answer may sound absurd, but: everything. And here is how: when you breathe, you take in oxygen, and release CO2, or carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is considered a greenhouse gas (it gets trapped in our atmosphere) which warms up our oceans, leading to melting glaciers, rising sea levels, flooding, and stronger natural phenomenon like hurricanes and monsoons.
Now, we’re not saying you’re to blame – the CO2 you emit is taken in by trees and plants and reconverted to oxygen so you can continue to breathe!!!
WHEW, that was close.
But now think – do you eat red meat? Do you drive a car? Do you fly on airplanes? Cows are huge emitters of greenhouse gasses, and the more we consume them, the more the problem rises. Car emissions also contribute to the planet’s rising temperatures, as well as pollution. And we’ll get to planes in a bit.
Again, we’re not trying to make you feel bad here. One person alone is not responsible for the planet’s declining health, but when you factor in over seven billion humans and their collective habits and daily activities, it adds up. We're right on time to make a change and leverage the momentum we're experiencing to slow down the process while we figure out how to reverse the crisis.
In order to help you understand how you can make an impact, we’d like to share some of what our Nytronians do as individuals (and what we do as a company) to reduce our footprint:
Some of our Nytronians are fully vegan who constantly rave about the benefits of veganism for our bodies AND the earth. They often inspire our meal choices when we get together. Other employees are vegetarians, and we also have some pescaterians.
Speaking of getting together, it doesn’t happen often. Our Nytro team is 100% fully remote, meaning we do not commute to work, doing our part to reduce transportation emissions. Not everyone is down with the telecommuting lifestyle, but for us it works, and it helps the earth! (to better understand how this works, here’s a great piece on how Telecommuting reduced the carbon footprint of big companies like Dell, Aetna and Xerox)
We’re digital! Because we’re not in an office setting, all of our materials are digital and stored in the cloud. We waste very little paper or other supplies that typically go to waste in massive amounts in companies of all sizes.
We use public transportation and carpool a lot! When we have events or in-person meetings, our team ride-shares and uses public transportation whenever possible. Also, most of us are fans of walking.
Whenever planning events, our team focuses on sourcing the food and items from local providers that offer great quality and organic options
We reduce, reuse and recycle!
And these are just some of the practices that our colleagues put into play both collectively and individually to take care of our home, planet earth.
There are many ways you can start your path to a more conscious effort to reducing your carbon footprint, and here are just a few:
Visit the Earth Day Network site to help you understand how your activities can impact carbon emissions, and see for yourself how you can take action.
Remember we mentioned planes earlier? Well, if you have to fly somewhere, calculate the flight’s carbon pollution emissions, and you can put money towards projects that are designed to offset the emissions caused by your flight. Check these websites to find out about which project offsets you’d like to contribute to: Gold Standard, Green-e, and Climate Action Reserve.
Note: not all offsetting projects were created equally. Guides like this one from Call to Adventure are a good resource to keep in mind and ensure the project you're contributing to is actually making a positive impact.
Check this detailed guide that shows you the average split of where your emissions could be coming from, so you can make a change based on your personal activities. And yes, shopping is one of them!
Reduce (use of resources and high emitting habits)
Reuse (anything you can)
Recycle (as much as you can)!